Q&A with Dan Navarro

What was the first concert you attended?  Jose Feliciano at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Where and when was the first show you played?  No photo exists of my first public show, at Hoot Night at the Troubadour in LA, 1974. I did 30 minutes, probably like 5 or 6 songs, with my college friend Jeff Stillman, shortly after we Ieft UCLA.  The gig photo below is from a similar gig with Jeff Stillman, in 1976, at Honey Creek Farms in LA, owned by Doug Weston, who owned the Troubadour. He built a nightclub out of the space around a large antique bar that was for sale in his antique warehouse, called Honey Creek Farms. I played there every few months that year, my first regularly scheduled full length gigs, not the three-song hoots I had been doing since ’74.

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What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience?  While on a deadhead drive home from Minnesota to LA at the end of our first tour, Tad Wadhams and I swapped driving duties at 5am in Colorado in a moving tour van (pulling a trailer!) without stopping the vehicle. Tad put the car in cruise control and lifted the side lever of his seat, which released the back. I pulled it down flat, then I reached in to grab the wheel and kept it steady while he slid out of the seat, and I slid in, straightened the seat back and turned off cruise control. Easy as pie. But one of the guys (Butch Norton, now with Lucinda Williams) woke up in the middle of it and got a little freaked. Shortly thereafter, we came over a ridge and saw like 30 hot air balloons. Quite a drive.

Which of your songs is your favorite and why?  It varies from time to time, but lately it’s Bulletproof Heart. It was inspired by actual events in my life, so it resonates for me, every  time I do it.

If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? God, any artist?  Dylan. Jackson Browne. John Hiatt.

What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month?  I don’t listen to much except what filters in, and I find myself making phone calls on my long drives more than listening to music. I love Ryan Adams’s “My Wrecking Ball”, got pretty obsessive about that one, and now I do it as an encore sometimes. Found myself listening to old Bangles and Little Feat. Matt Nakoa, who I’m writing with some. And a new kid named Jesse Terry. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?  A singer. No, really. Since I was 8.

What is your most embarrassing moment?  If it was that embarrassing,  I would never tell it. I might write a song about it, but mess tha facts up to cover my ass.

What is your favorite phrase?  It’s simple arithmetic.

Cat person, dog person, or both?  Not really a pet person. I travel too much. I like both dogs and cats for different reasons. I had a cat for like 15 years, and she was a groove. Chatty, in your face and pretty deep, a long-haired calico on the gorgeous side named Katie. Her mom, Rosie (short for Rosalita), had been my cat.  I’ve never had a dog. I like dogs, preferably relaxed dogs. Unmellow dogs drive me crazy and aloof cats can go fuck themselves.

Books or movies?  Movies. I don’t really read fiction, not at all. My reading is usually biography or a history of some sort.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you?  That I’m not from New York, or that I’m not Dave.

Check out Dan Navarro at Jammin' Java on August 5th!